Arno Coenen comes to GHG with ’Trails and Traces’ twist on trompe l’oeil
Celebrated Dutch artist Arno Coenen, renowned for his colorful vaulting ceiling of Rotterdam’s De Markthal, has now brought his creativity to Groot Handelsgebouw (GHG), with a spectacular 80,000-pixel digitally rendered floor at the heart of this iconic building. It is the latest work in Collision Project, where diverse artists and visionaries use historic buildings such as GHG as their canvas.
For the floor of the loading bay at GHG, Coenen has created ’Trails and Traces’: an inverted variation on a classic ceiling trompe l’oeil. His high-resolution reimagining symbolizes the activity of people who pass through the area yet leave no visible traces, in a dynamic collision that includes satellites, fruit, flowers, emojis, computer icons, rainbow lines and airplane trails.
“Instead of a view through the clouds to an unreachable world of celestial creatures, I’ve depicted a view of the clouds as if from a plane, including the traces left by air traffic.
The loading bay is such a place: many people pass every day but leave no visible traces.
My work symbolizes those invisible traces, and therefore the activity of the building and its inhabitants in GHG, which is the Grande Dameof Rotterdam icons,” says Coenen.
Arno Coenen’s monumental works of art in public spaces merge digital graphics and traditional techniques to create bold immersive art experiences. His oeuvre includes the ceilings vaulting De Markthal in Rotterdam and the Beurspassage in Amsterdam, and computer-generated video animations that appear in collections of media art including at Paris’ Centre Pompidou.
is increasingly a hub for art and design in Rotterdam. Collision Project, which originated at Industry City, in Brooklyn, came to GHG in 2020. So far, Rotterdam-based graphic artist Saïd Kinos, letter painter Tim Sake, art collective Bier en Brood and Studio Otherness-founder Joel Derksen have created diverse artworks at GHG. Last month, 20 up-and-coming artists painted 20 ping-pong tables at a live design event at GHG to underscore the role of spontaneous collisions in the creative process.
Situated bang in the city center, GHG is where Rotterdam meets the world – and where the world meets Rotterdam, through art and spontaneous encounters. Everyone is welcome to visit GHG and see the artworks for themselves – and of course to join the conversation on Instagram.